Well-known Ghanaian fashion designer, Joyce Ababio, has said that established fashion designers in this country must cooperate to collectively help move the business forward.
According to her, designers who have gained some ground in the field should stop seeing themselves simply as thriving, self-sufficient entities and rather pull their skills and resources together for a more formidable fashion industry here.
The accomplished designer, who is also the founder of the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design, was speaking via a video clip shown at the sixth edition of Fashion
Forum’s quarterly panel discussion programme at the British Council Auditorium in Accra.
The event, which brought together professionals as well as beginners and students in the fashion business, centered on the topic of brain drain on the fashion front.
Touching on the substantive issue itself, Joyce Ababio said she didn’t see anything wrong with people choosing to go and study or work in the United States, United Kingdom or anywhere else.
That’s because, in her view, the schools and industries in those places help broaden people’s minds to see the fashion industry the way it should be seen and also inspire folks to do great things.
“We, however, also have those push factors here. Our schools are doing good work. Our curriculums are broad and we are doing something just as good as any other country is doing in their schools but there is still a lot to be done here to get us to a certain preferred point,” she said.
Joyce Ababio pointed out that people trained here should be made to clearly understand what the industry entailed and how to work efficiently to fit into it.
She mentioned Mimi Plange in the US and Ozwald Boateng in the UK as some of the Ghanaian fashion designers doing exceptionally well abroad.
Key discussants at the sixth Fashion Forum programme were Dr. Ebenezer Kofi Howard, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Art at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); Mrs Vivian Biney-Aidoo, former Head of Department of Fashion at Accra Technical University; Mrs Fabiola Opare-Darko from the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design; Mr Rajesh Pillai, Blue Crest School of Fashion and Design and Mr Kwabena Osei, a representative of the Radford University College.
An impressive showcase of exquisite designs from fashion departments in some tertiary institutions heralded the discussions in which some of the panelists agreed that brain drain was not an issue affecting the nation’s fashion industry while others disagreed and called for measures such as collaboration, high standards and keeping abreast of new trends to help curb the threat.
There were also video presentations on designers, Pearl Amoah and Elike at the forum moderated by Ms Ivy Prosper and which had well-known designer, Margaret Ofori-Atta, as one of the guests.